Weight Loss Strategies to Help Your Kids

Newspapers and magazines are packed with articles on the hot topic of weight loss strategies for kids. Television reporters present heated debates on it. With the media going head-strong, there is no escaping the fact that child obesity in the U.S. is now a major problem – one that cannot be brushed under the carpet.

Most of us feel guilty when trying to console our kids with an ice cream cone or some other candies in order to cheer them up every time they are sad or upset. While junk food certainly lifts moods in kids and grown-ups alike, some kind and encouraging words of affection are better and healthier alternatives. As childhood obesity becomes a nationwide concern, what with over 30% of Americans being classified as obese, parents have a major role to play in stopping the problem from acquiring epidemic proportions.

Being obese or overweight can leave anyone distraught, more so when it happens in the early, impressionable years. It is known to be one of the most awkward phases to go through and can also be the harbinger of problems and afflictions to arise over the coming years. As parents, we can change the way children perceive food and the long-term associations they form with it. This, in turn, gives us the chance to help kids from forming unhealthy food habits. However, do not despair if your child has already crossed over and gone on to pile on the extra kilos. A few lifestyle changes are all it takes to go from fat to fit. And, of course, much motivation and plenty of patience.

  • The Correct Way of Correcting: You have laid the rules at home – no midnight snacking on cookies nor sodas for breakfast. Yet, you find your kids breaking the rules regularly. Confront the child’s habit, not the child. Provide them with all the encouragement because they are going to need loads of it if she has to break free from the comforts of unhealthy food indulgence. Here are a couple of day-to-day tips: always have breakfast to start your metabolism and burn off more calories throughout the day, stick with 3 meals a day, have healthy snacks, don’t eat dinner any later than 8:00pm – the longer you are up and about after a meal, the more your body will process that food and your metabolism is at its slowest when sleeping.
  • Be the Change You Want to See: Wondering why your kids are not convinced bagel and cream cheese is not the right breakfast choice? Set an example and join them on this new healthy lifestyle! Make sure not to single out the overweight child as it sends out a wrong signal. Even if only one family member needs to lose the weight, set a positive atmosphere and change the eating habits of the entire family and stick by your new rules.
  • Go Shopping: If every cupboard in your kitchen has at least one food item that can be classified as junk, it’s time to go shopping for healthier alternatives. Stuffing the fridge with ice cream, sodas, and chocolates is an open invitation for your kids to fall back to their old ways of eating poorly. Though it is important to teach them the power of resisting temptation, it is better to rid the house of all such desirable yet poor foods, until the kids have settled into their new diet plans. However, not all good deeds go unnoticed. Setting goals for losing a certain amount of weight and rewarding that achievement with a treat can prove to be rather beneficial.
  • Get it Moving: When it comes to weight loss, there is no substitute to exercise. But it can be hard to stay motivated if results are not visible instantly. To help your kids view exercise as something to look forward to instead of thinking of it as a chore, make it a family activity and introduce fun elements to it. If you have access, hiking and biking are much healthier weekend activities than going to the movies or going out for dinner. A walk in the neighborhood every evening after dinner, dancing while watching some dance show on TV, or going for joint dancing classes are great ways of keeping things active for the family.
  • School of Weight Loss: Educate yourself as well as your children on portion control, food pyramids, nutritional content of food items, etc. The American Diabetes Association and other obesity education initiatives are good sources of learning.

Thanks to all the resources available and the studies done, we now know so much about obesity. From the causes of obesity to ways of preventing it, we are aware of it all. Although America has a high obesity percentage, in recent years, our obesity rate has slowed down. The best thing parents can do is to become aware of the issue and help make changes to their family’s day-to-day life and help prevent the onset of obesity among their family members.

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